British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Involved in 11 productions. Has worked with 105 other people in this database.
Oscar James was born in Trinidad, arriving in England in 1957 to study engineering. In that year, he was offered a part in The Comedians and decided to become a professional actor instead. As his biography in the programme of The Black Macbeth states, "Oscar loves Shakespeare and was with the Royal Shakespeare Company for a time, but being coloured the opportunities were very limited. He sees The Black Macbeth as being a 'dream out of heaven' for the coloured people and he thinks it will give them great chances....Oscar feels that not enough emphasis has been placed on the witch-craft element of Macbeth in the past, and that if one reads through the play one can see it all taking place in Africa, and he is sure that it will be a success." In The Black Macbeth, Oscar James became the first actor to play Macbeth. James was also the fourth black actor to perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He was a member of the original Eastenders cast.